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A Journal on Obstetrics and Gynecology

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Minerva Ginecologica 2001 June;53(3):203-8

language: Italian

Pregnancy in women with thalassaemia

Palagiano A., Pace L.


Women with transfusion dependent thalassaemia suffer from failure of pubertal growth and delayed onset of menarche with amenorrhea, anovulation and infertility. With improved pediatric and hematological care is now possible, for patients with b thalassaemia, to achieve a pregnancy. Pre-pregnancy assessment included checks for hypothyroidism and diabetes, for hepatitis B and C, human immunodeficiency virus, Rubella, cardiac functions, liver functions by estimating aspartate and alanine aminotransferases, gamma-glutamyl transpeptidase, alkaline phospatase, and total plasma proteins. The frequency of blood transfusion needed to be increased in order to maintain the hemoglobin concentration above 10 g/dl. Desferroxamine must be stopped as soon as pregnancy is diagnosed continuing the administration of the folic acid supplements throughout pregnancy. Desferroxamine will be resumed after delivery. The safety of iron chelation with desferroxamine during the periconceptional period and pregnancy has not yet been established. Some animal studies have shown skeletal anomalies; other published studies report seven women with b thalassaemia major who became pregnant while taking desferroxamine: all the women had normal babies. The mode of delivery is usually vaginal, while Cesarean section is performed in those cases with pre-eclampsia, fetal distress, cephalopelvic dysproportion, slow progression of labor, as in women without thalassaemia. In conclusion, with the advent of regular blood transfusion associated with iron chelation therapy, pregnancy in b thalassaemia can be safe for mothers and their babies with appropriate care.

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